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College Scholarship FAQ

What College Divisions Offer Athletic Scholarships?

Colleges at the NCAA D1, NCAA D2, NAIA, and Junior College levels can all offer athletic scholarships.
 

  • How many scholarships are available at any given school depends...

    • on how many scholarships the coach already has committed to current players on the roster

    • whether the soccer team is a fully funded program by the college

    • how the program likes to use its scholarship money

    • several other factors.

  • There are a limited number of scholarships available, so a full scholarship is unusual; partial scholarships are more common.

  • Just as important or even more important than athletic scholarships are the other types of financial aid available.  A student's academic performance in high school plays a very important role in obtaining many of these other financial aid opportunities. 

NCAA D3-level colleges do not offer athletic scholarships, but other forms of financial aid are available.  Just like the other college levels, a student's academic performance in high school plays a very important role in obtaining many of these other financial aid opportunities. 

Are College Scholarships Different for Men's and Women's Programs?

The maximum number of scholarship are different for each division within the NCAA.  The type of program, whether it is a men's program or a women's program, also plays a role in determining the number of scholarships available. 

 

The NAIA and Junior Colleges have different scholarship limits than the NCAA.

Scholarships can be a mix of full-ride scholarships and partial scholarships. Bear in mind that the chart  below shows the maximum number of scholarships, but some soccer programs might have fewer scholarships available due to budget limits.  It’s up to the coach to determine how much money they want to give to each athlete on the team.

 

NAIA schools have fewer recruiting rules than the NCAA, and NAIA coaches can contact student-athletes anytime during high school. 

Junior colleges can be a stepping stone for student-athletes looking to transfer between schools or move up into a higher division, all while saving money on tuition and related costs.

Division
Avg Roster Size Men
Scholarship Limit Men
Avg Roster Size Women
Scholarship Limit Women
NCAA Division I
29
9.9
28
14
NCAA Division II
32
9
29
9.9
NCAA Division III
30
0
26
0
NAIA
32
12
26
12
Junior College (NJCAA)
25
24
19
24

Is your son or daughter good enough to get a full athletic scholarship to play soccer in college?

A "full ride" scholarship is rare. Only a college coach can make the decision on whether your child is worthy of a full athletic scholarship.  Keep in mind that schools are limited in the number of scholarships they can grant.  Partial scholarships are much more common than full scholarships. 

A college coach is more likely to reward a proven player with a full scholarship.  A proven player can be someone already on their roster, or a student-athlete using the player portal to transfer from another college.  A first-year player coming out of high school has not yet proven they are able to successfully compete at the college level while also meeting the academic demands of college. 

Another factor to consider is how much funding a soccer program has from their college.  For instance, the NCAA allows a Division 1 college 9.9 scholarships.  That is the maximum number of scholarships the college is allowed, but not every school has the budget to offer that many.  If the soccer program does not have the funds, it won't be able to offer all the scholarships the NCAA allows.   

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